Navigation: Return to: Seth Finkelstein - EFF 2001 Pioneer Award or Anticensorware Investigations

Seth Finkelstein's EFF Pioneer Award - Jamie McCarthy's nomination

Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 20:04:18 -0500
From: Jamie McCarthy <jamie[at-sign]>
Subject: Fwd: Seth Finkelstein, EFF Pioneer Award
To: cwp <cwp[at-sign]>, sethf[at-sign]MIT.EDU

====== Forwarded Message ======
Date: 3/12/00 7:57 PM
From: jamie[at-sign] (Jamie McCarthy)
To: pioneer[at-sign]

As a member of the Censorware Project, a group Seth Finkelstein co-founded, I would like to recommend him for an EFF Pioneer Award.

Around the time that the CDA was being fought, blocking software - censorware - was seen as the lesser of two evils. Seth was one of the forward-thinkers who first recognized the dangers of privatized censorship, and began working in mid-1996 to expose its flaws. As a talented computer programmer, he cracked encryption. As a dedicated and persevering volunteer, he spent hours analyzing blacklists. And as a member of our group, he contributed tremendous ideas and prose to our essays and reports.

Seth even contributed the lion's share of this work - the cracking of encrypted blacklists - anonymously. Unknown even to most of us who worked side-by-side with him in the Censorware Project, he had been the source who had made most of our work possible.

In the year 2000, it is becoming more recognized by those "in the know" that censorware is dangerous. Privatized censorship is censorship none-the-less.

And this software is especially dangerous because, in almost all cases, corporations have chosen to protect their trade secrets by keeping the blacklists hidden. This makes it exceptionally difficult to "look under the hood" and see what is being censored. In fact, new laws being passed actually make it illegal for work such as Seth's to be done. This secrecy, making accountability impossible, is why many of us believe that censorware will be the greatest threat to freedom of speech on the internet over the coming decade.

Seth has retired from activism now, but his long-time dedication and hard work deserves to be recognized by the internet community. His was one of the most important voices to kick off the struggle against 21st-century censorship.

He can be reached at <sethf[at-sign]>. --
Jamie McCarthy

====== End Forwarded Message ======
Jamie McCarthy

Mail comments to: Seth Finkelstein <>

Return to: Seth Finkelstein - EFF 2001 Pioneer Award or Anticensorware Investigations